Friday, February 28, 2014

Mini-cupcake Offload: Pan Type & Prep, Batter Amt

In case the blog article title seems oddly abbreviated, my intent is to minimize the number of characters but still convey the topic, related to my previous article about offloading fudge. For that experiment, I contrasted spray oil vs. spray oil and powdered sugar for offloading fudge, using mini-cupcake silicon and aluminum pans. That dessert requires no baking, thus, use of powdered sugar for prepping some of the pan cavities.

Initially, my experimentation idea this time was using liner papers for mini-cupcakes after baking them. The first time I tried a mini-cupcake recipe and used a silicone pan, I poured the batter into paper-lined cavities. The paper boundaries, nearly vertical, were more challenging for avoiding spills at edges. The baked cakes were instantly and easily removable. Unfortunately, some cake tend to stick to the papers, lessening the edible amount.

So, this time around, was going to only contrast spray oil vs. spray oil and flour in baking Choco Cherry Choco Chip mini-cupcakes. But then, I also wanted to see how well mini-cupcake paper liners fit the baked cakes if I varied the amount of batter—underfill (level tablespoonful) and common fill (rounded tablespoonful).

I had intended on using only silicone pans, After prepping and one of them and putting it in the oven, it occurred to me that the baking process was going to take a lot longer if I switch out several pans' worth. So, I pulled out the aluminum pans and prepped and filled them also. The second oven batch took aa bit of arranging and rearranging, with the second silicone pan and three aluminum pans. I balanced one metal pan on an oven rack ledge and another pan's edge.

The original recipe I modified for the mini-cupcakes is Cherry Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake. Lucky Leaf pushed its canned pie filling.

A more elaborate recipe that uses chocolate cake mix is Chocolate Cherry Cake, but the baker uses the chocolate chips for the frosting and none in the cake itself.

An extremely elaborate recipe is from SugarWinzy—Cherry Chocolate Chip Layer Cake. Her one-off recipe for cupcakes is Chocolate Chip Cherry Cupcakes. My eyes glazed over from the number of ingredients and artistry.

The simplest recipe would have been using only one flavor of cake mix, but I wanted my batch to be more like milk chocolate cake. Ingredients from the Lucky Leaf recipe and my deviations:
1 16.25-ounce box white cake mix (I used 1/2 box *each* of chocolate and white cake mixes.)
3 eggs
1 21-ounce can LUCKY LEAF Regular or Premium Cherry Pie Filling (I used a different brand.)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (I used regular size chips.)
Instead of using either a bundt cake or oblong pan, I used the silicone and aluminum mini-cupcake pans, baking at 350 for only about 16 minutes each batch. I also skipped the icing part of the recipe. I considered the cakes (yield of 84) to be sweet enough naked, with less work, fewer ingredients, fewer calories.

The spray-oil only method of prepping the pans resulted in fewer instances of cakes sticking to pans than using both spray oil and flour. Originally, I wondered if the papers might be undersized with the bigger post-baked cakes. I was happy to see that the papers hugged well. Maybe the pleats of the sides help accommodate mini-cupcakes for perimeter and volume. The baking session yielded 84 mini-cupcakes.

Try the "Lemon Poppyseed Mini-cupcakes" recipe. Besides putting in a pixstrip for step-by-step instructions, I also talked about muffin vs. cupcake. Also visit Square Mini and Whoopie Muffin Experiment, the recipe where I contrast square mini-muffins and whoopie muffins for shape.


Ballnchainz said...

That sounds really good. I may have to make that for my kids one day. Have you ever tried making these with strawberry's

whilldtkwriter said...

Have not tried strawberries in this recipe. Strawberry pie filling might be common in stores as it seems online. Could get creative and create your own pie filling with thawed frozen strawberries, water, and cornstarch (for thickener), cool it down, and mix with the cake mix and eggs.

Paul Graham said...

Feel free to Offload your Cupcakes on me. Brownies too for that matter. Like many men, I am a good cook for savoury items but quite useless at desserts. I like your reasons for blogging. Keep it up !

whilldtkwriter said...

Thanks for comment! Actually, my reference to offloading pertains to ease of getting the goods out of pans while minimizing loss of edibles. The cakes popped out easier and with less stuck to the pans when using just spray oil, whether I used silicone pans or aluminum pans.

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